Boz Boorer is longtime guitarist, co-writer and musical director of Morrissey and his band, and has also worked with Edwyn Collins and David Bowie, amongst other luminaries. Sean Bw Parker spoke to Boorer about Johnny Marr, Lou Reed and his abiding passion for Rockabilly
Morrissey’s ‘Autobiography’ looks set to be one of the most commericially successful of its genre. What do you think of the book?
I have only just started reading it but I am finding very well written, informative and funny.
How do you get along with Johnny Marr?
I have only met him on a few occasions but he is always the consummate gentleman, we have quite a lot in common.
Where were you when you heard that Lou Reed had died, and how did you feel?
I was at my studio in Portugal getting ready to return to London, we had the UK news on the radio because there had been a storm and then U heard of Lou’s passing, I felt very sad, he had recently had a liver transplant so it was expected he would enjoy a few more years.
With reference to The Polecats, how relevant is rockabilly as a musical force in the UK in 2013?
The Polecats have just been out doing a few gigs and the genre seems to be enjoying a resurgence, recently there have been a few new young bands on the scene and a few of the older ones have reformed. I don’t think it will ever revisit it’s heyday of the early 80s but it’s a nice thought.
When you and Morrissey write together, what is the process? Do you both come in with fully-formed ideas and put them together, or…?
I submit finished tracks, Morrissey writes over them, sometimes they are edited, keys are changed, sometimes not.
Which is the song or other musical moment you are most proud of?
I think Vauxhall And I was a great moment for me, in the growth of my musical playing and the blossoming of my song writing.
From the other artists you have worked with, what is your strongest memory?
There’s a few! I really enjoyed the tour I did with Edwyn Collins, playing keyboards and Alto sax was a good workout for the brain.
The recordings I did with 50s rockabilly legend Ronnie Dawson showed a side to my playing I didn’t know existed.
Seeing Adam Ant back on stage at the Roundhouse to a sell out crowd was a proud moment.
Playing the T.Rex song ‘Cosmic Dancer’ with David Bowie at the LA Forum has to be up there somewhere.
How has the ‘music industry slump’ affected what you do?
Not with regard to shows but Morrissey is unable to secure a record deal so we haven’t made a record in a few years, despite having an arsenal of new material.
Any new music recommendations for us?
I have been working with some interesting people recently, Skinny Lister are a breath of fresh air, Eugene Mcguinness is a young man with a fine voice, Sonny Green a young poet more knowledgable than his years would suggest.
What are you mainly working on at the moment?
After a few Polecats gigs in October I am presently writing away, including some songs for Vortex Express, I have a few DJ dates coming up, including a few in the States around Xmas
What are you drinking?
Rombauds filter coffee, it’s 10am!
Photo by Darren Ryan